It has been said of E. "Mike" McVaugh, that he is "a dedicated American portrait
artist", with "a commitment to excellence" and "a singular creative vision". Mike
was born and raised in New Jersey, a Quaker descendant of Betsy Ross.
Encouraged by his mother, and educated at George School and Rollins College,
Mike exhibited an early interest and ability in the art of the portrait.
BOOKS INSTEAD OF TV: A Central Florida resident since 1971, Mike won awards for his work
and gained clients by participating in local art shows from 1975 to 1987. Inspired by Everett
Raymond Kinstler's book Painting Portraits, Mike made the decision to stop watching TV altogether
from 1978 to 1984, in order to spend all spare time reading and studying from books, drawing and
painting portraits from life, attending portrait seminars, setting up a north light studio in his home, and
preparing life size oil portrait samples to show to a leading New York portrait gallery.
A POSITIVE-REALISM CREATIVE VISION: During this intensive period of preparation, Mike
found himself increasingly drawn to the spiritual elements of pursuing creative excellence. In January
1981, Mike wrote down concurrent career and spiritual commitment decisons to be a portrait
specialist who sought divine guidance in all matters. Then in 1984 he was spiritually reborn as
described in John 3:1-8 and was permitted to experience an exhilarating life altering positive-energy
creative vision that he began researching, developing and applying to his art, eventually calling it
positive-realism.* In 1985 Mike committed his art to God and made Him a promise.
A CHALLENGE and A NEW MILLENNIUM INVITATION: During the 1990s, Mike continued
to apply an evolving positive-realism approach to creating and painting portraits, such as those of
George Herbert Walker Bush, Buell G. Duncan, Jr, Parks Duncan, and Reverend Kenneth E.
Hagin. Just before finishing President Bush's portrait, Mike was unexpectedly inspired to begin work
on an Artist vs Computer Challenge. Ongoing work on the Challenge served to also increase
creative/spiritual research that eventually was to become an avocational curiosity about how creative
and spiritual positive energy approaches might connect in ways that could somehow benefit
humankind. In 1999 conversations with a portrait subject about creative/spiritual connections led to
Mike receiving the great honor of being invited to attend the historical New Millenium 2000
celebration of the placing of a gold-encased capstone on the Great Pyramid of Egypt, in order to
exclusively document the event artistically from inside the Pyramid walls.
TODAY as Mike readies to publicly issue the Artist vs Computer Challenge, he is now accepting new
portrait commissions. Mike works in oil, pastel, acrylic, pencil, and charcoal, from life and/or from
photos. In the tradition of the Masters the single most important ingredient in Mike's working method,
is to schedule some painting time from life with a subject. When a subject is available there is
simply no substitution for some painting time from life. Found among his more than 800 portraits
are business and professional people of Florida and many other states. A recent five year member of
the Portrait Society of America, past and present Masters such as Rembrandt, Ingres, Stuart, Mr.
Everett Raymond Kinstler, Mr. Daniel Greene, Mr. Yousuf Karsh, and the teachings of Jesus
Christ have had a lasting influence on his work and services.
ARTIST STATEMENT: "America was founded upon great principles and in America portrait
painting is a great longstanding tradition celebrating the marvels of the individual human spirit. I am
proud of this dual heritage and thankful for each opportunity to serve creatively. My journey
continues to be a creative/spiritual one and I have come to believe that each person has what it takes
to be their true creative best. To be the person God created them to be. God is the greatest Artist."
PORTRAITS by McVAUGH Bringing out the best in people with positive-realism*
407-461-9061 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTIST VS COMPUTER CHALLENGE EMAIL: email@example.com
Mailing Address: 4252 North Orange Blossom Trail, MB #37, Orlando, Florida 32804
*Positive-realism is a trademark of E. Mike McVaugh's art. © All rights reserved.
E. "M I K E" M c V A U G H